The Master’s Collection at Woodford Reserve is typically a yearly, limited-release series focused on whiskey innovations and novelties—often batches that have received unique finishes, or mash bills, or unusual aspects that make them superlative in their own way. However, for this year’s 2020 Master’s Collection release, the Brown-Forman brand decided to go back to its roots, as it were, in order to deliver a classic bourbon that pays homage to the decade and a half that Master Distiller Chris Morris has spent with the brand.
This release, dubbed Woodford Reserve Very Fine Rare Bourbon, is a blend of Woodford-distilled Brown-Forman bourbons, and includes some of the oldest whiskey to ever bear the Woodford name, at 17 years old. This is not an age-stated bottle of bourbon, but rather a blend that features an unknown portion of this very-old distillate. Judging from our own sampling, though, the percentage of well-aged bourbon here is pretty significant. Although future Master’s Collection releases will return to primarily exploring innovation, this one instead explores the history of what Woodford Reserve has done to date. These 17-year-old barrels represent a portion of the oldest aging whiskey stock in Woodford’s possession.